Red Shoes

(This is a continuation of the post from 6/3/17 titled Meet Lorisa.)

They are Lorisa’s favorite– her red high top tennis shoes. You see them somewhere on almost every page of the book. When they are on her feet — always untied.
There is a the back story about red shoes. Lori’s oldest boy played little league baseball like many boys do when they are seven and eight years old, but you will not hear of his name in the MLB because it was soon discovered that his gift was numbers and baseball stats. He is a successful financial consultant today. Oh, but he did have a pair of coveted red baseball shoes that he passed down to my oldest boy two years younger. My oldest wore the flashy red shoes for one year of little league. He soon realized that baseball was not for him the day the coach had to yell out to him in the outfield “take the glove off your head!” Today he volunteers his attention and time to young kids through the Big Brother program who are also at times are being told “to take the glove off your head.”

Next, the red shoes were handed down to my middle child. They were actually a size too big and flopped on his feet the first year he wore them. However, the minute he put them on and a teammate said “cool,” it was like those shoes were magic. He wore them for the next two years until the rubber cleats were completely worn down. You will not find his name in the MLB either. He traded his passion for baseball for a career as a sales analyst. Lori and I share cherished stories of a little boy who looked up to his older brother and older family friend so much and insisted on wearing red shoes a size too big for him. He was even nicknamed “Red Shoes” for a few years.

So as you read the pages of NOT YET and see a cute little girl proudly wearing her high top tennis shoes, you now know the precious memories that Lori and I share of “red shoes.”

Why are Lorisa’s shoes always untied …… because “she’s not quite there yet. She’ll get there. You bet!”

NOT YET….. coming soon!

By:  Lisa Cox & Lori Hockema

 

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Meet Lorisa

Labrador Retriever + Poodle = Adorable Dog Called Labradoodle.

Lori + Lisa = Adorable Girl Called Lorisa.

Who is Lorisa? Lorisa is the main character of the book cowritten by my dear friend Lori and me. Lorisa is a labor of love created by a friendship that has stood the test of time. For me, Lorisa represents determination, faithfulness, loyalty, sacrifice, belief and love– all of the characteristics that I have witnessed in my cowriter over the years. Lorisa has the boldness and spunk that I see in Lori and the scattered idealism that I see in me.

We hope that Lorisa teaches children to believe in themselves and enjoy the process of growing up. Lorisa has what is called a growth mindset which basically means that she believes that her efforts matter. Her motto in the book– Am I there? Not Yet. I’ll get there. You bet!

Lorisa has taught me to believe that I have purpose and to enjoy the process of living. Lorisa has taught me to dream big, work hard, and not focus on my limitations.

We did not draw Lorisa. We worked with a fabulous illustrator who kept going back to the “drawing board” until Lorisa emerged as we envisioned her in our minds.

Who is Lori? If you had the privilege of having Mrs. Hockema as a teacher, you will never forget her. She most assuredly is on your list of favorites. As a classroom teacher, she was dynamic and passionate about her students and profession. She gave her all. She still does in all her endeavors.

Over the next couple of weeks I will slowly tell you more about Lorisa. It is going to be an incredible journey as we introduce her to you. How do I know this? — because the process of writing this book has already been incredible and fascinating.

Retired Teacher + Retired School Counselor = Two Friends with Many Stories to Tell

Adorable girl character + Adorable dog character =
Book Coming Soon Titled NOT YET

………Is it here? NOT YET
It will get here. You bet!

Coming soon!

NOT YET
Lisa Cox and Lori Hockema

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Dear World,

Dear World,

I am warning you things are changing. The way we look at the word disability is fighting to change. At this time I know a 17 year old girl with Down’s who hosts her own cooking show. Another girl with this characteristic is applying at some of the most prestigious colleges in our country. In this video, my little Bella doesn’t see her Cerebral Palsy. She sees her self as a strong fighter, as she should.

World, you have to change. Some of us may do things differently than the typical person, but we are fighting. We matter, everyone of us.

And if you find yourself with the opportunity to assist us in some way, be thankful. You will most likely learn a great deal from our strength and from our challenges.

If you find yourself spending time with us, you will know a deeper meaning of life. You will have more compassion. You will wrestle with your own perception of what is important in life– and the lines drawn in the sand of what is a disability may just get blurred and forgotten. You might see us not as a person with Down’s, CP, Autism, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc. You might see us as the girl with curly hair. The boy who is funny. The mom who writes. You may find that it is fun to spend time with us.

World, We are fighters. Like Bella in this video, we will not rest until you see and know us for who we are. And when you finally open your eyes, you will see how boring the world would be without us.

World, We are not broken. You are. We were fearfully and wonderfully made, just like everyone one that inhabits you. World, don’t ignore us. Being ignored is the worst pain.

From One who who sometimes acts like she is from another planet,
Lisa

More Than Running Up the Score

 

img_5374.pngWhat can you say about a dad who has shown you such unconditional love all your life? How do you express your gratitude for a man who has pointed you to the way of faith by his leadership of his family? What can you do for a man who gives and gives and gives to his grandchildren, children, community? It’s hard to give him gifts because he is content with a simple pair of khaki pants, blue v-neck sweater, and always the brown leather loafers on his feet– a man of well-groomed, simple tastes.

My dad’s best attribute and funniest to share is his constant giving. He is a giver.

When my middle son was in 2nd Grade, the class went on a field trip to see The Nutcracker. My Tyler was intrigued by nutcrackers and asked for one at Christmas. I could not find a cheap one, so I asked my dad to look for one at a sale. My dad is a avid antique collector. Well, he found one. In fact, in line with how he does things, he found 40. Tyler got 40 nutcrackers for Christmas that year.

When I started co-writing music a few years ago, I asked him to look for a cheap guitar or piano keyboard. I got one. I got two. The girl with little musical sense who really only needs a pen and paper to co-write music, now owns 5 guitars, a mandolin, 2 keyboards, a French horn, a trombone, and an accordion that is bigger than me. I stopped him from buying the clarinet!

I could go on and on with these stories of giving that make me laugh and warm my heart. It’s how he loves us, and he does it well.

My dad grew up poor. I’ve heard the story countless times. “When I went to college, all I had with me was a paper sack on my lap with all I owned.” He had a passion and talent that got him to college. He could shoot the lights out of a basketball. And that is the life I have always known– basketball. From his college’s Hall of Fame and All Century Team to To His induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, my dad found his way “running up the score.”

However, that’s not my dad. He may be a fierce competitor on the court, but off the court you will see a gentle man walking a little fluff white dog that he adores. His love for animals is a part of his charm.

So, in the only way I know how to express my love for my dad, “Dad, here are your song lyrics. You have taught me that life is ‘more Than Running Up the score!'”

More Than Running Up the Score

V1
Old rusted hoop Nailed to a pole
In a dirt backyard court so long ago
hours rehearsing for that final scene
The last second shot that goes in clean
He battles the neighbors living next door
Bring it shooting hoops 4 on 4
This is how he thought life would be
Always Fighting for victory

V2
Teenage years brought lots of praise
In College his records still stand today
he coached his own high school team for years
Each Friday night the crowd went wild with cheers
the trophies came and the small town fame
Everybody knew his name
But he found victory in a different place
Through the years relied on grace

V3
On Sundays he hears the church bells ring
The hymns of old he loves to sing
Faith is the victory he was searching for
So much more than running up the score

Chorus
what he learned outside that gym floor
Life was so much more
so much score
Than running up the score
so much more
Than running up that score

http://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame/john-milholland/?back=HallofFame

It’s a Boy!

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When I was pregnant with my third, after having two boys, I was deeply sure it was going to be a girl. I don’t know why. I just did. My mother was in another state on vacation when I went into labor. She waited anxiously with a pink outfit in her hand because she had a hunch, too. Unlike what is popular now, we wanted the words “It’s a girl!” to be a surprise to us when we first heard them.

I wasn’t desperate for a girl. In fact, part of raising a girl scared me a little because as a school counselor I have sat with many brooding girls with arms crossed claiming, “She’s not my friend anymore!” The world of girls is complicated.

When the doctor lifted up my baby to see and said, “It’s a boy!” I remember not feeling one ounce of disappointment. I took one look at my third boy and thought, “Oh, it’s you. It’s always been you!” Through this pregnancy, I have always been in love with you.” The pink was put away without the least little disappointment.

Now, I do recall the teasing of the older brothers, when boy number three was older. I can still hear them saying, “Mom, I wish we had a sister. Oh wait, we do!” They would point at their youngest brother, and  another brotherly battle made the house shake once more.

No I have no regrets being the mom of all boys.
However, every once in a while, I will spend time with a girl with whom I will form a bond, and get a hint of what it would be like to have a girl. Mostly, they are the girls of my good friends. There are many — Erin, Grace, Hannah, Lauren, Rachie, and many, many others. It’s funny, instead of feeling regret, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be a part of their lives….. and a little sense of relief that I do not have the girl drama and wedding expense! Just kidding.

I was with a little 5 year old girl that touched my heart in this way again today. Her name is Sophia. Her mom and I talked for a long time at Starbucks while she waited patiently. When we parted, she hugged me and said, “I will love you forever 100 times.” Thank you, Sophia. Only a 5 year old girl knows how to love forever 100 times. Thank you to all of my friends for sharing your very special girls with me.

 I used to be a stay in the lines, go with the flow, don’t make waves kind of person. I have changed. Parkinson’s is one of the many cards dealt to one in life that can shift the mind set. I am now a find the line and push beyond it, swim against the flow, and waves? I will splash and make as much joyful noise as I can, while I can, fearlessly. This site is meant to bring hope, inspiration, and make you think a little deeper about life. I hope you walk away from reading a post with something to think about or smile about for the day.

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